Safe and Effective Tips for Lifting a Senior

A caregiver practices the right protocol for lifting a senior as she helps an older woman out of bed.

Lifting a senior safely requires knowing proper techniques.

Taking care of an older family member often means that you’ll be helping them move around the house, getting in and out of chairs and the bed, or even going to and from the bathroom. Handling these tasks incorrectly can pose a significant risk of injury to both you and the person you love, making it vitally important to know proper techniques for lifting a senior.

Commonly, injuries occur among caregivers when they:

  • Don’t know their own physical limitations and the risks at hand.
  • Lack the necessary physical conditioning and preparation for the demands of moving and lifting a person.
  • Have yet to receive the proper training for safe and effective lifting and transferring techniques.
  • Opt to manage these responsibilities on their own, without seeking help or support.

It’s important to know and practice the right protocols when lifting a senior to avoid the back injuries that are so prevalent among caregivers. By understanding and implementing a few crucial guidelines, you can greatly minimize the risk of injuring yourself or the person you love:

  • Don’t attempt to lift any amount of weight that causes strain.
  • Keep in mind the older adult’s capabilities, and adjust your approach accordingly, ensuring that they are comfortable and not in pain throughout the process.
  • Encourage the person to be as involved as possible in their own movement during lifts and transfers. If they are completely unable to assist, it may be necessary to seek additional training or specialized equipment designed for safe transfers.
  • Do not pull an older adult’s arms or shoulders, as this can cause serious injury.
  • Try to maintain steady movement to avoid any sudden or jerky movements which can startle or injure both of you.
  • Make sure the senior has non-slip shoes and slippers to avoid falls.
  • Rember to lift from the legs, not the back!
  • Position yourself with a stable base of support: stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, one foot slightly ahead of the other, to maintain balance and leverage.
  • Prevent the older adult from placing their arms around your neck or holding onto you for stability. If they feel insecure, suggest they clasp their hands near their chest.
  • Maintain deep, regular breathing and keep your shoulders relaxed to reduce tension during the lift.

However, the safest and most effective way to avoid injuries when lifting a senior is to get help from someone else. Doing so not only helps distribute the physical effort but also increases the safety and comfort of the person being lifted.

Advanced Home Health Care, serving Burlington, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mt. Pleasant, Mediapolis, and the surrounding areas, provides expertly trained caregivers who specialize in safe lifting and transferring techniques. We understand the importance of maintaining both caregiver and senior safety and are committed to supporting families with comprehensive training and assistance.

We are pleased to offer a free care consultation and home safety evaluation for seniors who may need additional help around the house. During this consultation, our professionals assess the home environment and provide recommendations to enhance safety and accessibility.

To learn more about our trusted home care services and how we can help make caregiving a safer, more positive experience, please contact us online, or call us at 800-791-7785. Our team is dedicated to providing the support and resources necessary for you to care for an older loved one safely and effectively.

The Care You Need. The Quality You Deserve.